Republican Party

The Brian Lehrer Show

Open Prep: 15 Things to Read, See and Hear About Paul Ryan

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mitt Romney has chosen Wisconsin representative Paul Ryan for his vice presidential pick. Reihan Salam of the National Review will be discussing the pick on Monday's Brian Lehrer show. In the meantime, here's some background reading on Ryan.

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Transportation Nation

Sandy Adams Takes on "Rock of Gibraltar" Mica in Battle for US House Seat

Friday, August 10, 2012

John Mica and supporters  (photo by Matthew Peddie)

The chair of the House Transportation Committee finds himself in a scrappy fight for re-election, but he's standing his ground and turning to mobility metaphors to express his confidence: "I think I have some life left on the odometer," he said, touting the benefits of his seniority in the house. Meanwhile, his opponent, Sandy Adams, is pointedly using his Washington experience against him.

Mica's U.S. Congressional District 7 used to stretch from his home in Winter Park, metro Orlando to Ponte Vedra, a seaside town 130 miles north, not far from Jacksonville.  Redistricting shifted the boundaries closer to Orlando, and District 7 now centers on Seminole County, just north of Orlando's exurbs.  Neighboring District 24 -- currently represented by Sandy Adams -- moved South, leaving Adams to scrap with Mica in the Republican primary.

As the influential chair of the U.S. House Transportation Committee, Mica has been in Congress nearly 20 years, long enough for people to know who he is. Under siege from his opponent Sandy Adams, he’s flying his conservative colors and highlighting his record as a whistle blower on wasteful spending.

“You get to election year, and people want to know what you’ve done, and what you stand for, and I think I’ve got a very strong record of cutting waste, government bureaucracy and also of providing leadership,” says Mica.

But Adams says he's exactly the kind of insider politician voters don't want.

Her campaign is running an ad that labels Mica "Obama's best cheerleader", citing his support for SunRail, Central Florida's 62 mile long commuter rail line, which the ad brands a "boondoggle".

Adams also criticized Mica over a highway tolling provision in the recently passed highway funding  bill.

"Lexus lanes" are a talking point in the District 7 primary (photo by Matthew Peddie)

"It was his bill, he put the tolls on I-4 after telling people he would not," says Adams. "That’s a career politician.

"That's total political malarkey," says Mica. He says the bill preserves free lanes and stipulates if new toll lanes are built, “then you have to use the money for the construction or to reduce indebtedness, which would reduce or eliminate the tolls."

And Mica says he's no cheerleader for the Obama administration.

"It's totally absurd, taken out of context," says Mica. "I am the best cheerleader in Congress for transportation and getting people working."

"I was able to defeat Harry Reid and get a transportation bill done that the Democrats couldn't do, an FAA bill that cut Harry Reid's $3,720 airline ticket subsidies,  so I'm not the best friend of either Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama."

After nearly a decade in Tallahassee as a Florida state representative, Adams is no political newcomer, but she’s staking her claim as a cost cutting outsider.

“I am not a career politician," says  Adams. " I am, and remain, a citizen legislator.”

She says the choice is clear for voters on August 14th in the Republican primary. "They have a choice between a 20-year career Washington politician, or someone that they sent less than two years ago to fix the mess he helped create."

"I am not a career politician" says Sandy Adams

Adams defeated a Democrat in 2010, but this time she’s up against a formidable Republican. "I'm sort of the rock of Gibraltar," says Mica, who says District 7 needs a representative with his staying power and leadership.

And in the highly competitive 435 member U.S. Congress, Mica says his seniority is a good thing. "It will easily be another decade-and-a-half before another full committee chair comes from Central Florida, just because of seniority."

Mica's clout has allowed him to out-raise his opponent nearly two to one. At the end of July, his campaign had nearly a million dollars cash in hand while Adams had half that.

After a Rotary lunch meeting in Orlando Thursday where both Mica and Adams spoke, Mica was quick to quash any suggestion he'd paid for a high profile endorsement from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. "Oh absolutely not. You don't know what a stingy bastard I am. I wouldn't pay anybody for an endorsement."

Meanwhile Adams' campaign has picked up steam in recent days, with an online fundraising site raking in nearly $30,000 in just over 24 hours.

"We're doing just fine," says Adams.

There's also a Democratic primary in District 7, with new-deal Democrat Nicholas Ruiz up against blue-dog Jason Kendall for a chance to take on the winner of the Mica-Adams contest.

Jason Kendall says if he makes it through his primary, there are enough moderates to give him votes in November.

"Sandy’s something of an extremist," says Kendall. " Getting endorsed by Allan West or Sarah Palin might work in some places but I know a lot of people were really turned off by that endorsement.”

Both Republican candidates have a strong base of supporters, but there are some who still haven't made up their minds, like Steve Grier, who was at a recent Mitt Romney campaign event in Orlando. Grier said he wants to learn more about Adams and Mica.

"I like a lot of things about John Mica," he said. "I know that he was for SunRail, which I’m not real crazy about that aspect. But that remains to be seen. Honestly, I’ve had my eyes more on the presidential aspect of the race.”


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The Brian Lehrer Show

Governor Nikki Haley's American Story

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina and now author of her memoir, Can't Is Not An Option: My American Story, talks about her background as a child of immigrants who has become a rising star in the Republican party, and today's political news headlines.

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It's A Free Country ®

Party Undisciplined: Where are the GOP's Elders?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

If we’ve learned one thing about the Republicans in the Obama era, the GOP is no longer the party of party loyalty.

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The Takeaway

Does the South Still Influence the GOP?

Friday, March 09, 2012

The South has played a crucial role to the Republican Party for decades. Since 1996 every Republican presidential nominee has had some personal connection to the South. Furthermore, each of those nominees achieved their position by aggressively courting the Southern vote by reflecting their ethics and policy positions. Not so with Mitt Romney. Does that reflect more on the former Massachusetts governor's strategy, or a realization that the south may be experiencing a waning influence over the GOP?


The Takeaway

Does the GOP Alienate Women Voters?

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

In recent weeks, the Republican party has had a difficult time charming a key slice of its political base: women.
For his part … Rick Santorum has been advocating against women’s access to contraception.  And even more recently… conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh is facing heat for the inflammatory and misogynistic comments made on his show.  
It should be noted that both Romney and Santorum have distanced themselves from Limbaugh’s comments. 
My next guest says that these isolated incidents speak to a bigger problem among the Republican party as a whole; specifically, that the grand old party has been ignoring, marginalizing or just offending women for years.  And that polls show this is going to hurt the party in the short term and the long. 
We’re joined now by Jennifer DeJournett [deh-JOOR-nett], president and co-founder of VOICES of Conservative Women, a non-profit that works to get women engaged in the political process.
In recent weeks, the Republican party has had a difficult time charming a key slice of its political base: women. Rick Santorum has been advocating against women’s access to contraception. Although both Romney and Santorum have distanced themselves from Rush Limbaugh's comments, the conservative radio host is facing heat for the inflammatory and misogynistic comments made on his show.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Jerry Falwell and the American Right

Monday, March 05, 2012

Michael Sean Winters examines how Reverend Jerry Falwell has influenced national politics. In God’s Right Hand: How Jerry Falwell Made God a Republican and Baptized the American Right Winters looks how Falwell motivated voters and helped defined the orthodoxy and vocabulary of the Republican Party.

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The Takeaway

Marco Rubio's Mormon Past Comes to Light

Friday, February 24, 2012

Senator Marco Rubio generated a lot of positive buzz at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in January. A dynamic young catholic Latino from Florida, Rubio charmed crowds with his sense of humor and looked like he could be the perfect young vice-presidential candidate. However, on Thursday BuzzFeed broke the story that Rubio was, for a few years of his life, Mormon.

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The Takeaway

Ahead of Debate, Arizona Voters Confess Concerns

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

For the first time in nearly a month, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich will share a stage in Arizona, at a Republican presidential debate hosted at the Mesa Center of the Arts on Wednesday. The latest poll numbers from CNN have Romney in the lead with the support of 36 percent, and Santorum coming in at a close second with 32 percent of likely voters. While Romney's lead is far from decisive, many Arizona voters have yet to make up their minds.

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The Takeaway

Notes from the Conservative Political Action Conference

Friday, February 10, 2012

The 39th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) began on Thursday with speeches from Jim DeMint, Stephen Halbrook, Michele Bachmann, Anne Coulter, and President Eisenhower’s granddaughter Susan Eisenhower, among others. With invocations of Reagan and cries for party unity, the three-day event could help give focus to what has been a lukewarm GOP race.

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The Takeaway

GOP Initiates Hispanic Outreach Effort

Thursday, January 19, 2012

George W. Bush made significant gains in attracting Hispanic voters, traditionally a strongly Democratic voting bloc, during his time in office. But those gains disappeared in 2008 when Barack Obama won more than two-thirds of the Latino vote. Despite the unpopularity of his administration's deportation strategy, Latin voters support Obama more than his Republican rivals. Realizing that they are missing a portion of the electorate that continues to grow, the GOP has initiated a Hispanic Outreach Effort for the 2010 election.


It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Why the GOP Lost Black Voters

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

As we head into what everyone seems to agree will be the defining contest for the GOP, I find myself wondering whether African Americans have a reason to vote Republican.

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It's A Free Country ®

The Process is Political: GOP Touts Big August Fundraising Haul

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Republicans tout the best ever fundraising during an August in a nonelection year, while Democratic officials say it wasn't such a hot month for them. Bloomberg says he did not violate campaign finance laws in reelection bid. California Democrats say a consultant's Madoff-like scam have wiped out their campaign coffers. Emails show the White House was very interested in the timing of a pending federal loan approval for a solar panel manufacturer, particularly as a scheduled press appearance with the vice president neared. 


It's A Free Country ®

How This Weekend Changed the Republican Race

Monday, August 15, 2011

Connecting [Michele Bachmann's] ideas very specifically with the jobs crisis hasn't been her strong suit so far; that's something she'll have to demonstrate in the very near future, or she's going to be seen as a less viable candidate, particularly as someone else with populist credentials enters the Republican presidential fray.

Reihan Salam, columnist at The Daily and blogger for National Review Online's The Agenda, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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The Takeaway

Rep. Nan Hayworth Says Tax Increases are Non-Starter in Debt Talks

Monday, July 18, 2011

After a weekend of relatively little progress on the debt-ceiling negotiations, Congress is still far away from any sort of compromise. This week, Republicans intend to vote on a "cap, cut and balance" plan, aimed at capping federal spending, cutting the deficit and amending the Constitution to require a balanced budget. They would also lift the debt limit. The deal may get enough support in the House, but it's less likely to pass the Senate.

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The Takeaway

Reading the Republican Candidates' Memoirs

Thursday, July 14, 2011

In the world of politics, we’ve come to expect many things from our presidential candidates: bus tours, baby kissing, political posturing, the occasional scandal, and of course, the candidate’s memoir.


The Takeaway

Palin to Embark on 'One Nation' Bus Tour

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sarah Palin has announced that she'll be spending her Memorial Day weekend on a bus tour along the East Coast. The high-profile announcement comes as speculation that the former Alaska Governor will enter the field for the 2012 Republican nomination increases. Jordan Fabian, staff writer for The Hill helps us shed some light on the 2008 Vice-Presidential candidate's future intentions.

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The Takeaway

Favored GOP Candidates Skip First Presidential Debate

Thursday, May 05, 2011

The first Republican Presidential Debate is tonight in Greenville, South Carolina. But few of the GOP’s leading contenders will be there. Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich are all opting out of the debate. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley warned that Republican candidates who ignore South Carolina do so at their own peril. "Anyone that discounts South Carolina is making a huge mistake," Governor Haley told Fox News.


The Brian Lehrer Show

The 2012 GOP Race

Monday, April 25, 2011

There are more than a dozen possible GOP candidates, but the true campaigning has yet to begin. Jonathan Martin, senior political writer at Politico, analyzes the 2012 Republican presidential field and other political news.

→ Listen, Read a Recap, and Add Your Comments at It's A Free Country

The Takeaway

Are 'Birthers' Bad for the Republican Party?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Forty-five percent of Republicans still believe Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States, even though there's no question to the veracity of his citizenship. Thanks in particular to potential GOP 2012 presidential candidate Donald Trump, the "birther" issue has resurfaced. As the Republican party gears up for the 2012 presidential election — and as a number of states legislatures consider their own "birther" bills — how will this issue play for potential Republican candidates?

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